Whether it is an app to provide mental health services in Taiwan, a cleaning service for commercial businesses in Mexico, or an avocado oil production business in Tanzania, women around the world work to secure capital, recruit talent, and create and execute a plan that will successfully build their business. As President Biden said, “governments, economies, and communities are stronger when they include the full participation of women.” And so, this Global Entrepreneurship Week – and every week – the U.S. Department of State is recognizing the 25,000 women entrepreneurs globally who comprise the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE).
Now in nearly 100 countries, AWE provides access to online curriculum, training, masterclasses, and networking opportunities to emerging women entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries, from tourism, to healthcare, to sustainability, to fashion, and biotechnology.
It’s encouraging to see that we are not alone trying to support the local economies of our families and communities, even in these difficult times and circumstances.
It’s encouraging to see that we are not alone trying to support the local economies of our families and communities, even in these difficult times and circumstances.AWE alumna
Through AWE, the Department has convened alumni over the past year to expand their networks, learn new skills and resources, and engage in pitch competitions through regional summits and country-wide alumni conferences. Earlier this year, 200 AWE alumni from across East Asia and the Pacific gathered in Kuala Lumpur for the first AWE Alumni Summit. In July, the first East Africa AWE Summit brought together 100 women entrepreneurs from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya. In Nicaragua, nearly 100 women entrepreneurs convened for a nation-wide conference to address obstacles in expanding their businesses to virtual platforms. Recently, the U.S. Embassy in Manila convened a country-wide AWE alumni conference in Manila and Bacolod City to support women entrepreneurs in the Philippines. And this week, the American Institute in Taiwan, with strong support from Taiwan’s Small and Medium Enterprise and Startup Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, has hosted 75 women from across the Indo-Pacific region at the first-ever AWE Indo-Pacific Women in Tech Summit in Taipei. Click here to learn more.
Through the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, the Department of State is working to deliver upon broader U.S. foreign policy goals to expand opportunity and equity, as well as societal inclusion, worldwide. Each and every woman should be able to reach her full potential, and this Global Entrepreneurship Week, we recognize the amazing women entrepreneurs who are building businesses and strengthening societies in communities and countries worldwide.
About the Author: Catherine Muller is the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs Team Lead in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.